by Healthy by Design Nutrition Specialists
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids constitute the two families of EFAs.
EFAs are considered “essential” because they are needed throughout the human life cycle, cannot be manufactured in the human body, and therefore they must be obtained through our diet on a daily basis for optimal health and wellness. The body must receive a constant and balanced supply of EFAs to ensure proper prostaglandin production.
Prostaglandins are beneficial hormone-like compounds that affect virtually every system in the body. They regulate pain and swelling, help maintain proper blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and promote fluidity in nerve transmission.
What are early signs of EFA deficiency?
Dry skin, eczema, or hair loss
Reproductive problems (men and women)
Mood swings or depression
Where can I get a direct source of EFAs?
Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are found in cold-water fish such as sardines, mackerel, anchovies, and cod liver. GLA, an Omega-6 fatty acid, is abundant in borage and evening primrose oils.
What’s the difference between fish oil and flax seed oil?
Omega-3 fatty acids fall into two major categories: plant derived (flax seed oil, yielding alpha linolenic acid, or ALA) or marine derived (fish oil, yielding both EPA and DHA).
The human conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is somewhat slow and can be inhibited by various conditions such as a diet high in linoleic acid (Omega-6), trans-fatty acids such as fast foods and baked goods, alcohol intake, certain health conditions, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies (B3, B6, C, zinc, magnesium). Fish, on the other hand, is a direct source of EPA and DHA.
To learn more about the benefits of Omega-3’s and what you should look for when purchasing fish oils, contact Healthy by Design Nutrition Specialists and they will be happy to answer your questions. For more information visit their website at: healthybydesignnutrition.com